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Rob Papen
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Holthuysenweg 16, 6102 VG, Echt, Netherlands

Rob Papen's virtual synthesizers define the cutting edge of contemporary music production: powerful instruments and plug-ins that bring together innovative design, uncompromising sound quality, and musical, production-grade presets to make your tracks shine.

Try out one of our demos today and discover why owners call their Rob Papen synthesizers and plug-ins "Inspiration Soundware."

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Latest reviews of Rob Papen products

Predator 2
Reviewed By Duncle22
May 10, 2020

If your DAW of choice is Reason then Predator RE is the way to go. A great synth from one of the best synth makers in the game (Rob Papen).

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Go2
Reviewed By BONES
July 5, 2018

Let's get this out of the way first - I want to give this 3.5 stars but I can't do that, so please think of this as a 3.5 star review.

IMPRESSIONS

When I first saw the name "Go2", I didn't do what I was supposed to do and think of "go to synth", I thought of XTC's second album from 1978. Certainly looking at it's gigantic GUI, it doesn't feel anything like a go-to synth, either. That's not to say it isn't a handy addition to my sonic arsenal because it is definitely that. It's the only Rob Papen synth I've used so I can't comment on how it compares but I can tell you that it is very capable and seems particularly good for doing the harder, nastier sounds that I always look for. It is easy to take existing presets and turn them to your will or to start from scratch and make something useful quickly and painlessly. After going through the presets and tweaking them as I went, I ended up with a dozen good patches of my own in an hour or two, plus several dozen presets with favourite icons next to them (a handy feature of the preset browser).

I was really happy with all the patches I'd created and I was excited by the possibilities they presented to evolve our sound. In isolation they sounded rich and full but when I started to try and use them in mixes, I found it really hard to get them to sound as big and aggressive as they sounded on their own. In my first few attempts, I ended up using different synths instead of Go2, which was a little deflating.

I still like what Go2 does, though, so I started trying to find other uses for it. I don't think it's filter is great, it reminds me of the original LinPlug Cronox, so it's probably not going to be a great bassline machine. Eventually I discovered a role for it as a filler instrument, adding lots of grit between the bassline and lead parts. They are the kinds of parts you don't really notice until you mute them and realise how much they were adding to the sound. And for that it's great because it has a very different character to the V/As I normally work with, which complements, rather than competes with, the other parts in the song.

Go2's different way of creating sound is also very inspiring, which makes it good as a synth to play around with when you are looking for ideas for a song. Even if it never ended up in a final mix, I reckon it would still be $49 well spent, just for this. (Who can put a price in inspiration?).

DETAILS

There is a bit on a misnomer that it's a single oscillator synth but that's not strictly true, as there are two distinct waveforms which you morph together to create a richer, more complex waveform. You can also cross-modulate them - ring mod and FM are both possible. In practical terms, that makes it far more like a dual-osc synth and it makes sense to approach it as such. There is also a sub-osc so there is plenty to work with.

The oscillator works hand-in-hand with an X-Y pad, overlaid over the waveform "monitor", which you can record/animate to create big, moving sounds by controlling the morph of the two waveforms. Other parameters can also be assigned to X and Y for even more movement of the sound. This is amply demonstrated in the presets. It's easy to set up and a lot of fun to play with, which is where its inspirational aspect lies.

Beyond the distinctive oscillator, the rest of the synth is familiar and fairly standard. As I mentioned above, I don't think much of the filter but there is a nice distortion you can add at the Amp stage that makes the best of what's there. You get an LFO and three ADSR Envelopes. I like being able to choose between a graphical representation of the envelope and the more traditional knobs (my preference). There is a small mod matrix, a big arp/sequencer and four handy, decent quality effects available to further shape your sounds. Play modes include the usual poly, mono and unison (two or four voices) modes but add a good number of commonly used chords for one finger chord playing. It covers pretty much all the bases, I doubt anyone would feel like they needed more from it, as you can cover for the single LFO with the X-Y pad if you need to.

SUMMARY

Go2 is a good, solid synth with a distinctive character that is well suited to the harder style of music we make but also capable of doing a lot of other things well. It's easy to use, light enough on CPU and cheap for what it has to offer. It will never be my go-to synth, the GUI is way too big to use comfortably, but it's definitely worth having in your arsenal. Remember, it's 3.5 stars.

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Go2
Reviewed By mindbeet
June 29, 2018

This is really what the name suggests a goto synth. When I have an idea of a sound I can create it in no time after loading go2 and it just sounds great. It can as far as I have experienced do almost everything.

The presets are fantastic and really shows off it's capabilities but I hardly ever use them as the design invites tweaking your own sounds, it's dead easy and fast from scratch. Since I bought it it's almost the only instrument I use.

I read some reviews that just compelled me to try out the demo and I was just sold, this is very close to my own idea of the perfect software synth. The price is fantastic, depending on where you are in the world you could even beat the MSRP. My best buy so far this year, I just love it! Go try it for yourself I don't think you'll regret it.

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Punch 2
Reviewed By TheNeverScene
June 25, 2017

I've been on the fence about sinking a good chuck of money into a drum synth for quite a while. Up until now, I've gotten great results from the freebies, vsti's as well as one shot samples. I first checked out Punch about 3 years ago and have been drooling over it ever since, but I was skeptical about it's Windows XP 32-bit compatability. After a recent PC upgrade, I started weighing my options again. Tried uTonic (sounds fantastic, but IMO is too limited for an all-in-one drum synth option), tried Tremor (way too big a CPU hit, even on my 3.5 Xeon with 24G ram). Punch just "worked" for me...synthesis, sampler, sequencer, built in effects (fuzz distortion is fantastic btw, reminds me of running my hardsynth into a Boss FZ-2 HyperFuuzz at times). Within minutes, my electro drums took leaps and bounds.

Bottom line? Sounds great, easy to program, low CPU hit. Buy it.

Mike.

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RP-Delay
Reviewed By Sycopation
April 8, 2016

The description here does not do this product justice at all. Please go read the product page at the Rob Papen website.

This delay may not be for everyone, specifically people working with recorded audio, or in more "organic" genres. Basically, if you need your delays to sound "real," this may not be the best product for you. Sure, it can do "natural," but so can two dozen other delays that you probably already own. That kind of application is not where RP-Delay shines.

However, I think this could be the best delay out there for electronic / EDM, or any genre where delays and FX aren't always expected to sound "real." It really excels at highly layered, variously panned, heavily filtered and distorted delays. A total dream for creating wild effects.

It has two main delay lines (1 and 2), and each has four sublines: A, B, C and reverse, each with its own mix knob (dry vs wet), level, panning, feedback, filter type, and distortion type. All sublines can be set by sync, or by very accurate ms. Each subline can be triggered by a MIDI note. Each subline can be fed by the main input, or by any of the other sublines (see "position"). It has a master mix knob, master stereo width knob, master 3-fixed band EQ (low, mid, high). Also has master volume triggering, sequencer and Audio Follower.

It has a highly variable CPU load, depending on the patch (many, many awesome presets).

The only other delay plugin that I know of that allows such precise control over so many parameters is More Feedback Machine by u-he. The main difference to my ears is that MFM sounds more analog and RP-Delay sounds more digital. This same distinction holds true for u-he synths vs RP synths as well, imo. They both have their place. The price difference between the two is not huge, so maybe try both and see which one you like more.

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Punch 2
Reviewed By hivkorn
January 4, 2016

I got it since a few days, it is included with the explorer III bundle, what can i say about it ? ...
I got a lot of drums VST, audiorealism drums machine, spark 2 with spark LE controller, all the spark add on (EDM, Dubstep ....), Tremors ...
Rob Papen is just the best, everything is easy to use, it sound really good and inspiring.The FX section is really good.
In fact, the Rob Papen explorer III is a killer deal...a must have, I recommend to try it before buy, because we don't have all the same taste and needs ;)

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Blade
Reviewed By tommyzai
February 10, 2014

*I give Blade a 9.5 rating and expect to upgrade it to a solid 10 after the next update is released.

Blade by Rob Papen is a flexible additive synth with an sharp, yet human edge. When I first picked up this synth, I was scared — not because it was called, "Blade," and I feared it would cut me, but because it's an additive synth. I'm comfortable with subtractive synths, but my experience with additive or anything that has to do with partials or even mentions "FM" instantly triggers PTSD. I still have nightmares about programming a DX7 and wavetable synth patches. Blade breaks it all down and makes it easy to program without loss of sleep. In short, Blade is musician friendly.

One of the key features that makes additive synthesis unique is the ability to control harmonics, overtones, and partials; however, many argue that the sound is usually thin, lacks humanity, and is limited by on-board algorithms. Enter Blade! With this synth, you not only have control over the filter and volume, but you have global and micro control over essence of the waveform itself that goes way beyond slight adjustments to an individual partial (BTW, Blade contains 96 partials). There is something called a "Harmolator." It is a means of creating new waveforms and gaining total control over the oscillators. According to Rob Papen, "The Harmolator allows oscillator spreading, fattening the sound and also square / sine wave sub-oscillator." Every Harmolator parameter is spectrally displayed on the giant XY pad to give visual feedback, which enables global real-time manipulation of partials and live recording of cursor envelop/filter paths. I'm a visual person, and it really helps me to see (as well as hear) what I'm tweaking. This is where you can make instant sweeping changes.

Blade is capable of producing many timbres; yet, I mostly use it for sweeping, evolving ambient soundscapes and FX. It's easy to modify existing patches and create your own from scratch with Blade. Once you get familiar with the Harmolator and other parameters, it's like programming a virtual analogue-style synth. Blade makes additive sound design a fast, fun adventure.

FAVORITE FEATURES

• Cool blue GUI that is scalable to 150%
• 14 filter types
• Ability to add sub-oscillator
• Standard envelope generators
• Advanced page for deep editing
• 2 effects processors
• Step sequencer style arp that syncs to host
• Easy to access banks and some fantastic factory presets (of course, it's a Rob Papen synth)
• Responsive developer (the gang at RPCX respond to inquiries and update plugins frequently)

THOUGHTS

• This synth does a lot and does it in a new way, so there is a steeper learning curve, but once you get the hang of it. .. you will be unstoppable! It's certainly easier than programming the DX7.
• Why does Blade remind me of Wesley Snipes?

CONCLUSION

Blade has all the features of a basic additive synth and much, much more. You will not be limited by multiplying sine waves and a few algorithms. You will have the freedom and ease to create sounds that range from light and wispy to heavy and haunting. And, thanks to the XY pad, you can make the overall sound as human as you are! I highly recommend Blade to any eMusician, producer, gamer, sound-tracker, DJ, or sound designer, who is looking for an inspiring way to add an additive flavor to their audio. Tommy Zai gives Blade two very sharp thumbs up! To quote another reviewer, "Blade is certainly ready to cut through your mixes." Thank you, Rob Papen et al, for creating such a versatile and fun synth.

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Predator 2
Reviewed By tommyzai
December 11, 2012

Predator by Rob Papen is an amazingly simple, yet powerfully deep synth. The interface is well organized; knobs and controls are accessible and easy to use. Creating sounds from scratch is fun and rewarding, and for those who are less adventurous, the synth comes with a vast array of presets from the master himself, Rob Papen. One of the most enjoyable features are the randomize buttons, which allow the user to generate new sounds without much effort. This vicious beast has 128 waveforms, not just saw, square, sine, and triangle. There are also many ways to modulate and tons of high quality effects

Predator suits any kind of electronic music, and can produce many kinds of sounds — cutting leads, meaty basses, soothing pads, atmospherics, rhythmic soundscapes, etc., but where it really shines is with leads and arpeggios. For this reason, Predator is an electronic dance music producer's dream synth. Tracks created with this synth usually sit well in the mix, standing out just enough, but not getting lost and buried. Grrrrr, a gentle roar. The only area whereby I would suggest improvement is the patch browser it could be more intuitive. Otherwise, it's all there and is an extremely stable plugin. It has never crashed on me, launching smoothly and performing well in Logic, Studio One, and Numerology. Considering the depth of the sound, CPU demand is not bad, and the sound quality of the most recent version is fantastic, without any noticeable aliasing.

Customer/User support is excellent. Rob and Jon are active on the threads and respond to emails within a day or two. They are great people creating great plugins — a pleasure to deal with!

I highly recommend Predator to any electronic musician or producer looking to add a powerful, killer VSTi to their plugin collection. This synth cannot do it all, but what it can do — it does REALLY well. It successfully combines the sonic nuances of analog and digital to deliver a punchy modern sound that you may quickly become addicted and never be able to live without. That's what happened to me! I've been going to counseling and a recovery program for nearly a year, and it hasn't helped. I keep launching every chance I get! Thank you, RPCX, for creating such a ferociously addictive synth. Tommy Zai gives Predator three thumbs up. Love it!

BTW, if you search online you will find many threads on electronic music forums comparing synths, i.e. this synth versus that synth. Don't be surprised if Predator is mentioned a lot!

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